Starting Saturday, Target Corp. plans to limit customer traffic in all of its stores to promote social distancing during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Target said that, effective April 4, it will monitor the customer count in its 1,868 stores and, as needed, meter the number of shoppers inside. If a store’s traffic requires limitation to increase customer spacing, a Target associate will set up a designated waiting area outside with physical distancing markers, while another associate will guide shoppers inside the store and keep checkout moving quickly and conveniently, the Minneapolis-based retailer explained.
Occupancy limits will vary by location and be determined by a store’s square footage to enhance the average space per person and mitigate the possibility of congestion, according to Target.
In addition, over the next two weeks, Target will supply its more than 350,000 employees in stores and distribution centers with face masks and gloves as a safeguard against COVID-19. Staff will receive the masks and gloves at the start of every shift, the company said, adding that it will “strongly encourage” employees to wear them while working. Personal shoppers for Target’s Shipt same-day delivery service also will be offered gloves and masks to wear as they enter stores.
Target will provide all team members in stores and distribution centers with high-quality, disposable face masks and gloves to wear at the beginning of every shift and strongly encourage that they be worn while working. Shoppers with Shipt, the same-day delivery service owned by Target, also will be able to obtain masks and gloves at stores across the country. All stores and distribution centers will receive face masks and gloves within the next two weeks.
“We’re incredibly proud of the commitment our more than 350,000 frontline team members have demonstrated to ensure millions of guests can count on Target, and we’ll continue to focus our efforts on supporting them,” Target Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer John Mulligan (left) said in a statement. “The measures we’re announcing today are aimed at ensuring we are creating a safe environment for the guests who continue to turn to Target, while also providing our team with additional resources as they fulfill an essential service in communities across the country.”
Yesterday, Target also announced it will donate another 2 million KN95 respirator masks to the medical community, as well as continue to explore ways to secure more inventory for those in critical need. The company previously had donated anti-viral and N95 respirator masks to first responders and health care professionals at more than 50 organizations nationwide.
Other COVID-19 safety measures Target has enacted include more rigorous cleaning routines at stores and distribution centers; floor signage to signal customers and employees to stay six feet apart; plexiglass partitions at all registers; contactless order pickup and home delivery; and asking workers to stay at home if they are sick.
To support employees as they keep stores, DCs and other operations running during the health crisis, Target has invested more than $300 million in pay and benefits. That includes higher hourly wages ($240 to $480 per employee) for frontline workers through at least May 2; first-time bonuses to the 20,000 team leads who manage individual departments in stores; waiving the absenteeism policy; quarantine pay for 14 days; confirmed illness pay at 100% for 14 days; and backup care available to all staff.
The retailer also is offering workers age 65 and older and pregnant employees fully paid leave for up to 30 days and, for all frontline employees, dedicated shopping hours to buy food and daily essentials for their families.
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